If the power went out while using crock pots, there could be many casualties. For example, you may end up with half-cooked inedible food, or the food may start to go bad.
In short, you will be unable to eat anything from the slow cooker. Moreover, the slow cooker must be faulty, and you need to deal with that. Further, a lot of things can be responsible for the crock pot power to go out.
Regarding all of these, I will help you with your concerns and worries. And I will provide ways to find out the possible causes. As well, you will know what to do with the foods inside the slow cooker immediately.
Power Went Out While Using Crockpots: What Should I Do?
If the power goes off while using a slow cooker, the first thing you wonder about is the food. Most of us check whether the food inside the pot is fully cooked or half-cooked.
On the other side, you also think about why the crock pot power went out and many more. Here are the basic things you must do when slow cooler power goes off while cooking.
Deal with The Food
The first thing first you need to do is check on your food inside the cooker immediately. Well, you need to check whether the power went out before the food was properly cooked or not.
In case you are cooking vegetables, and they seem well cooked or less cooked, the food will stay safe for some time, even after a power outage. And you should re-cook.
However, it is not the case with meat or fish recipes, as they may look cooked on the surface while the insides are still raw. It is alright too, as the food will remain safe for at least 4 hours.
In these situations, you need to cook the food again by other means such as an oven, gas, or outdoor grill. Further, you must also resort to the same methods to deal with less cooked or uncooked foods.
Lastly, if the food seems to go bad after you check, without any hesitation, throw it out.
Look into The Crockpot
If the power goes out while using the slow cooker due to the load shedding, you must wait for the electricity to come back. But sometimes, the power may go out because of a short circuit, or the slow cooker died.
Regarding these matters, you will either need to wait till power is stable or check if any parts of the crockpot are damaged. If there is any damage visible, you must repair it.
On the other hand, if the slow cooker does not work, you will need to buy yourself a new one.
Should Toss a Slow Cooker Meal If the Power Goes Out?
I seemed to notice that most people do not think much of power outages while cooking. Also, they tend to trust in their hunch and eat the food without re-cooking or anything.
Someone came up to me saying, “I put the turkey inside the slow cooker, and the power went out. But the turkey looked well cooked after being checked. I think it is edible.”
If you are like them, then you should read this section where I will explain again how to deal with your meal when the power goes out.
- If you are outside and the power goes out, there is no way to know whether the food was well cooked or not.
- According to the US Agriculture Food Safety and Service, it is best to toss out the food if you are unsure.
- In case you find the thermal mass of the food hasn’t changed much after a power outage, you can restart and cook the food again.
- There is also temperature to consider. Therefore, if the food is getting cooked at 40F to 140F temperature for more than 2 hours, it is perishable. Well, that is due to the unstable temperature bacteria grows rapidly in foods creating foodborne sickness.
- But if the food is cooked at 170F to 280F for at least 2 hours, you do not need to discard the food. USDA research shows that this range of temperature provides direct high heat to destroy bacteria quickly and cook safely.
- Another worth mentioning thing is after the food is cooked, the food will stay safe till the crock pot is operating.
As you can see, there are many things to look out for when it comes to food. Therefore, if the power is out while food is cooking in the slow cooker and you are not present to check its state, you either re-cook or discard the food.
Less temperature means the instant pot is in the Danger Zone state, where it will start growing and ruining food nutrition.
Other Slow Cooker Tips:
Here are some additional food tips to follow, which I got from the United States Department of Agriculture.
- You should store foods that are most likely to rot fast in the refrigerator. If you want, you can cut meat and vegetables beforehand and keep them inside the fridge.
- You should warm up the meaty foods before cooking them in the slow cooker.
- Keeping foods inside the refrigerator before preparing for cooking will lessen the growth of bacteria throughout several hours of cooking.
- In low heat settings, the crock pot will take more than three hours to make food safe and bacteria-free.
- To avoid letting the bacteria get a head start on growing, you should cook food in high heat settings for the first two hours. And then, you can lower the settings according to the cooking time.
- Using the crock pot with the lid on is good for keeping food warm. But do not reheat leftovers in the slow cooker as it may trigger the growth of dangerous bacteria. Rather, reheat foods on a stove or oven with over 165F temperature.
Frequently Asked Question’s (FAQ):
You can keep food inside an unplugged crock pot for 2 hours. Therefore, it is advisable not to store foods inside a shut-off slow cooker for too long hours.
Technically you can, but it is not safe. According to the USDA, stopping and restarting the slow cooker will make the food fall into the danger zone where bacteria like Salmonella PR E will grow like crazy.
If the power goes out while you are cooking in the slow cooker, it is recommended to take out the food immediately and cook it on the stove or grill it on high heat. By the way, you can put your slow cooker in the oven for cooking if you have one.
Yes, all the slow cookers are designed to shut off after 20 hours in ON settings. Sometimes, we forget to turn off our slow cooker or leave home while cooking. So, you can rest assured if you accidentally forget to turn off your slow cooker.
Now you know what you must do in case the power goes out while using a crock pot. I also hope you know when to toss out the food or when to keep the food after the power goes out.
We shouldn’t be careless about food as foodborne diseases are quite harmful. Moreover, you do not want to suffer for weeks just after eating a mouthful of bacterial foods.
Thus, be cautious while cooking food in the slow cooker.